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Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 wrap up on the Ozturk Family

It is a beautiful thing to be able to look back in the archives and see our lives transpire in a matter of pictures. Little Miss grew up from a little bug that needed support to sit up, to running in circles and giving ME reason to find support to lean on.

Mr. Ozturk and I worked on our family and relationships with leaps and bounds. What didn't change is that we still don't agree on which one of us is working harder: him or me?

I want to go down a list of resolutions I'd noted at the beginning of this year:

*Get back into a size 8-10 semi check, because I got into a 10 and then lapsed back into 12

*Blog for Iza for frequently check

*Maintain a daily photo blog check

*Donate hair again check

*Celebrate Iza's birthday in a park check

*Celebrate EID better with family and friends check

*Have at least a few dates with Mr. Ozturk alone check

*Knit woolen pants for Iza

*Make more leg warmers check

*Save money to buy a sewing machine semi-check, saved money but didn't buy machine yet

For the year 2010, there are more things to accomplish, more challanges to attempt and many more hardships to come. Our only prayer is to live this year as best as we can as Muslims, as a family and as friends.

I don't like sharing new year resolutions at the beginning of the year. I have a hard enough time coming up to my own expectations, I cannot deal with knowing that my friends are also expecting to accomplish everything I previously aimed for. Or see where I have failed.

However we live, I hope we remember to have fun while we do it. Ameen

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


See now THIS should have come with a warning!

It could be that people don't sanitize their kids' sippy cups and just buy new ones as soon as the old ones start getting....say....three weeks old? How am I supposed to know that boiling these will deshape them?

Oh, now that I think about it, these cups being insulated should have given me a warning, right?

Aw, man, maybe today's consumer IS dumb enough to require warnings like "may get stuck in your teeth."


Talk about the obvious

I've always read about product warnings that sound like they were written for Martians and have always chuckled to myself at the warning on airline peanut bags that read "Warning: MAY contain peanuts." It's a freaking bag of peanuts!

Then there is the stroller warning "Remove child before folding." What freak of nature tried to do it otherwise that they had to put that warning there?

Last night I discovered one more:
On a box of individually wrapped Mrs. Field's cookies "Important: Remove cookies from wrapper before microwaving." Is today's consumer this dumb that they have to include this warning to cover their butts, just in case some dimwit microwaves it with the plastic wrapper and then sues the company for selling a bad-tasting product?

Monday, December 28, 2009


Dear Shoe-muses,
Please let the creators at Nine West, Guess and Franco Sarto know that I want this shoe in black with a low-mid heel. I mean, how hard can it be, right? Haha.
Also inform them if they always pair great design with high-heels and mediocre-work-boots looking designs on the mid-heel, they're ignoring a great niche in the market of women who want to wear great looking shoes and not topple over from the excessive artificial height.
Thank you.


Great lectures!
What I really miss in America are the good lectures at Al-Huda, or Farhat Hashmi's inspiring words. Listening on the computer does not have the same effect as a live discussion. You learn so many new things, get inspired from the lives of the legends of Islam, and seeing so many brothers and sisters get inspired right next to you--it's mesmerizing.
This was only my second time coming to winter camp; the first time my Turkish was shaky at best and I couldn't follow anything. I used to get uncomfortable when people were getting emotional listening to the speaker. Now that I can follow along, my heart sings in praises for the speakers and I thank Allah for an opportunity to learn more about the Propher (saw) and the people who we should try to emulate in our own life.


Praying in Jama'a

Friday, December 25, 2009


Saving the spot for a picture later

I'm at a beautiful place. A little hotel in New Jersey full of my friends! We are praying together, eating together, there is a sorta-daycare for Monster where she plays happily while I pray/attend lectures/hang out with friends/eat.

I was counting on my Sony's Bluetooth to post pictures from today, but just discovered that the bluetooth device essentially erased itself once we upgraded to Windows 7. So I can't really blame the upgrade because I actually like Windows 7. VISTA was like a bad nightmare we're still trying to shake from our minds.

So I suppose there will be no more pictures until I get back home Sunday evening. =( I know, it's a bummer!

EDITED: Iza's first night at hotel

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Wrapping up on Christmas Eve

As the rest of the world parties and opens presents, we're packing up to go to our own winter retreat. I'm determined to have fun and be able to attend all lectures, and I'm armed with ammo to deter anything that tries to prevent me from it.

Claritin-D for allergies
Mucinex DM for night time chest congestion
Advil for these stupid torn intercostal muscles in my ribs
Visine-A for itching eyes.

New Jersey, you've got nothing on me!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


What do you think my handful of readers? My next year's blog project. I'll be shamelessly plugging myself away on every community board that I belong to, but on the other hand, I'll have an answer to when someone asks me the dreaded questions: "What do you do?"

Yes! *fist pump*

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I'm not known for my cooking

And there's certainly no love lost between cooking and me. It's a known fact, "Ayesha hates to cook, bake, broil or steam." Give me prep jobs for 10 dishes and I'd do it happily as long as someone else is going to do the final cooking and take the credit/blame for the final result.

So it's not very often I try my incapable hands at anything that I haven't made before and even rarer does the new food turn out to be edible. Tonight was.....well, not any different haha.

I had to skim through a number of different recipes, combine what I like, eliminate non-halal steps and ingredients, and then find the ingredients that didn't use white wine, meat extracts or 4598343% cholesterol content.

Without the beef consomme (yes, I made it easier, so you don't have to google it. I know of no...ONE person who probably knows what this is), the sauce wasn't as creamy as it was supposed to be. In any case, there weren't any complains (note: there weren't any compliments either), so I won't complain either.

Like I care for compliments....pffffffffft!

*I do =( *

Monday, December 21, 2009


Yes, she's a true Turkish baby
And her beverage of choice is Turkish chai.
She also occasionally dips random snacks in my tea glass, and in that she has a bit of desi in her too.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Hijab should not be the CAUSE of angst!

I got to talking to a dear relative of mine tonight on the phone. We were talking about taking a trip to Atlantic Avenue to go hijab shopping, when she admitted that she doesn't need anymore hijabs because she has four already. I asked her to repeat herself because I thought I heard she was happy with four hijabs.

Yeah. I'd heard her right the first time.

So apparently, someone in Pakistan told her that while it was good that she was beginning to wear abaya, that it would have been better if her particular abaya didn't have the decorations on it. That got her to believe that it's not hijab if you're wearing something that makes you look good.

Oh my Allah, if that is true that I'm destined to burn in hell! Astaghfirullah.

I want her to understand that it's ok to not want to look frumpy when you wear hijab and go out. Allah's ordinations and Muhammad (s.a.w)'s recommendations defined what is to be covered, how today's muslimah covers is mostly cultural. Iran uses black, Afghanistan's color was that bright sky blue, Pakistan's is often white, African muslims use solid colors, and the list goes on.

If all Muslims were to stay inside their cultural and geographical boundaries, the fashion of covering would never change from country to country. However, since Muslims DO travel so much especially seeing each other and discovering new cultures during Hajj, it is to be expected that fashions will collide and travel back with the pilgrims to their countries.

The last time I was in Pakistan, I got a few sleeve-less jilbabs tailored (because I didn't like wearing shalvar kameez), and started wearing those with long sleeved t-shirts and jeans underneathe, and a well spread out scarves. A cousin of mine then commented "if you were to stay in Pakistan for a few more weeks, everyone would start wearing the same thing."

I know this is becoming a long post, but I just can't stop having this internal discussion with myself where I know my intentions of hijab are only to wear it to please Allah subhana wata'Allah, but also that like every other action in the world, our actions when we cover come with worldly consequences.

The worldly consequences of my wearing hijab can be

a. Appearing as a sad, blank person, who can inspire other people once they begin listening to her reluctantly, or
b. A vibrant, lively person with a charisma that commands respect from the na-mehram opposite sex and inspires the sisters to believe that hijab does not mean they have to live down their personalities and for that reason they'd rather wait till their 65 years old to put on hijab.

After all, there is a reason my sister originally thought that if I put on hijab I'll never get married. And I know she's not the only one who thinks this way.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Hey there Mr. Frost!
Mid Atlantic's first snow storm hits the streets. From Washington D.C. to the Hamptons, we're all coated in a at least a couple feet of snow. I love the first fluffy snow banks, untainted by the neighborhood dogs, looking like snow dunes begging to be jumped into. I can only dream of Imran Bhai's vast back yard that must look like a snow-shoeing trail by now. It would be fun to jump off the deck into what I'm imagining to be a pool of powdery snow.
We joined the gleeful neighbors taking their customary late night walks, including one of the half-brained 'pino hicks from Louisiana who casually strolled in with a shovel...wearing a pair of shorts and sneakers. I had to ask him if he just landed from Planet of the Apes 'cuz that'd be the only place that didn't know about the imminent storm. I didn't really ask him that. I already know.
I love how the night lights up with the street lights reflecting off the snow makes it look like a perpetual dusk. Never in a million years would I stay in and not take pictures. I can be North Pole's resident pro photographer, I love snow so much!

And how could I resist an empty snowed in street?

Friday, December 18, 2009


Does this make me a bad mom?

Blah, I think this is cute; cute enough to delay putting her in the bed and take cute pictures.
Apparently, some freak of an old lady in the neighborhood thinks I'll break her neck. I seem to remember seeing many kids with their head not only hanging out of the strollers as they slept, but their parents repeatedly bonk them on door frames and random people's legs.

I saw this woman standing in her porch as I was hurrying home (Little Miss had unexpectedly fallen asleep) and just as I was thinking "Oh God, she's going to tell me I need a stroller again," she started yelling "Her head is hanging" (well, duh) "She's going to break her neck" and something like "it's cutting her neck off." After that last one I sped up more and tuned her out.
Like a friend told me yesterday, I do feel like putting out a PSA for "when sleeping toddlers nod off and knock back their heads, it's usually a sign of them being comfortable enough to zonk off and stay zonked. If they were to get uncomfortable, they'll wake up just like they wake up a zillion times during the night because their either about to pee, have peed, get thirsty, too hot, too cold...." *while the words fade into the background*

And I need to stop walking by that senile woman's house.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Out of my tired arms and into the circus
The cold weather is creeping into my lungs and it's not fun. We managed to go to the library briefly and on the way back I receive this call.
Me: Honey, I spent the day cleaning and trying to work on the letter. Do you mind picking up some dinner?
Mr. Ozturk: Uuhhh, I'll have to stop at the bank. Get me some halal chinese.
Me: I don't have cash either--hold on, my bag is slipping, my nose is running and Iza's tugging on my other arm....
Mr. Ozturk: Well, you're already outside. Go to the bank.
Me: I don't want to walk back to the bank now.
Mr. Ozturk: Waaah, I don't want to stop the car at the bank and get out of the car.
(Disclaimer: This is my version of the story, recreated to emphasize the unfairness of asking me to walk to the bank, when Mr. Ozturk doesn't want to drive by an ATM.)
He'd be in a lot of trouble had he not come home with some good news and taken Little Miss our of my hands right away. Lucky lucky charming husband. For all his quirks I can't help snickering at occasionally, he's a great father!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Found this beauty hiding in my camera.
Kenneth Cole

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Super-woman Reigns Supreme!
At the end of a hectic day, I was still able to pull off a slightly-more-palatable-than-usual dinner for the Mister tonight. Serving cracked wheat pilav, beef with green beans and salad green. For the record, the actual dinner plate looked nothing like the above. I just assembled a plate a few minutes ago to serve as a reminder that even when I'm worn down to the bone, I can still manage to put food on the table.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Armine Armine Armine!
Or so went my Facebook status the day I discovered Armine's website. I'd been aware of these 100% silk scarves but not of how artistic they were until one day I went surfing in their catalogue. I may never have made it out completely, as I kept going back practically every day to look at one particular scarf called Husna. I also loved how all the scarves were named after people names, much like baby carrier wraps are named after people (Anna, Albert, Katja, Lars etc.)
After Mr. Ozturk saw this one and agreed that this color would be such a killer on me, I applied to my dear friend C.U who was visiting Turkey, to find this one and bring it for me. Last night, she brought it over.
Here is it, according to C.U., the Mercedes of silk scarves:

Isn't it gooorgeous??? Before I put it on and was only admiring it laid out, I was imagining actually getting it stretched and framed. It would make a beautiful framed art.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Now it's there, Now it's not: How to remove Crayon marks from walls.

For some reason, even though I am painfully aware of the pen scribbles Little Miss has made on the wall between the computer table and TV, I had so far been oblivious of the huge patch of Crayon scribbles she made on the wall right behind the living room couch. I can imagine we never saw it as we're facing away from that wall most of the time while watching TV or just sitting around (that couch IS terribly comfortable!).

Mr. Ozturk and I had a fun conversation discussing the merits of Mr. Clean Magic Eraser for cleaning the said crayon patch. I wanted to get to it, get the Eraser and clean out the scribbles before our friends came over. He wanted me to do "research" before buying the said eraser for eight bucks. I argued there are multiple erasers in one box and we'd need more anyway because well, frankly, this is not going to be the last time Little Miss practices her art on our walls. He argued that there must be other ways less expensive to do the same purpose.

Entre eHow and the 12,000 replies to the article that basically instructed to make the artists clean the walls with a damp towel and a lot of elbow grease. Although I agreed with the suggestion and was wondering how to make a 19 month old child commit to removing her art from my walls, a reply to the article seemed like it would work.

So I grabbed our $10 Neem toothpaste tube, a dry towel and a damp towel and settled for the job.
Applying the green toothpaste direct over the Crayon marks

Be afraid Crayon scribbles, very afraid!

Scrub off with a towel.

Wipe with a damp towel, and YES! They really are gone!

I still think the Magic Eraser would have been a quicker albiet slightly more expensive solution, but this works very well in a pinch. Any house with a toddler with the tendency to run amock with a handful of crayons would find this very useful. Although, using a cheaper toothpaste might be a better idea.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Our late Eid gift for Little Miss
Miss's all time favorite song has to be ABC and she even waits for me to finish to applause and goes "Yaaaayyyy." We had a great hour (ok, SHE had a great hour, I was simply parched) just singing and playing with the magnetic Alphabets. They are still too small for her to manage and are put away till she's older. In the meantime, the easle will be a good place for her to sit and scribble with crayons.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Winter has arrived
It has finally happened; any sign of water in Sunnyland is beginning to freeze. The first thing that came to mind when I saw this was "what the hell are we doing outside? We should be huddling up next to our heaters at home." Just then, Little Miss squealed from the stroller wondering why we'd stopped and I remembered--she was the reason I was freezing my bones our there.
Back home and with the Miss sleeping, I began wondering yet again, about the new year and new resolutions. I still get pissed that I have no answer for people when they ask me "what do you do?" as if raising a child is a non-job. It's like a side thing...a hobby. What do you do when you're not raising your baby. Uhm, yeah. I'm aware how stupid it is, but I still I had a better answer than "I dance with her when Barney comes on."

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Iza's Playdate
It was the "deceptive winter afteroon" outside today; it looks like it will be warm and sunny from inside, but the wind sets your bones on an icy fire as soon as you step out! Even Iza didn't gcare for the weather enough to insist making a stop at the playground when we went out for a stroll.
Thankfully, I had promised a friend I'd watch her toddler at our home today and she provided tons of entertainment to my bored kid.


This made my day
Little Miss woke up way to early for either of her sleep deprived parents to function, yet Mr. Ozturk volunteered to accompany her to the living room where she could play and he would keep an eye on her while relaxing on the couch. Three hours later, when I woke up from my cough afflicted sleep, the house was quiet. I came out and saw both of them deep asleep. I couldn't help it and had to take a picture. This is Little Miss's classic snuggle: deep inside her Baba's arm and in his words "sticking to me like a powerful little magnet!"

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Bold Little Miss is also there...sleeping
On our first trip to the tree at Rockefeller Centre. The tree looks amazing, and the displays are to die for... Choos, Blahniks, Diors, Wangs and impossibly beautiful Delarentas graced the SaksFifth's windows. There was a creepy kids story playing along half the length of the block that was a waste of space, in my opinion. I need to take Little Miss again when she's awake so she can enjoy the lights and music.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Missing Baba in the morning
Or so I'd like to believe. Before taking her morning milk cup from me, she walked over to the closet, dug out Mr. Ozturk's cap, arranged it on her head and settled down for the milk.


A sick (but recuperating) child in the laundromat
Yet, Mr. Ozturk was concerned Little Miss was coming in contact with other people's germs. I was like, think about the people who will come in contact with HER germs after we've left!

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Nothing to see here folks, move along.

Flu season 2009 has arrived! Both Little Miss and I are still sick as rabid dogs. Hopefully will get a good night's sleep though as I belatedly figured out that a sauna-like hot room might help with melting the icebergs in my sinuses.
She's here in this pic a few days ago (no, we're not presentable enough for photo ops). I just miss her giggly face so much, I wish she's quit whining and smile at me for a few minutes without me having to tickly-torture them out of her.
Plus, for anyone who is still (kudos and thank you) reading this picture blog, I do need ideas for next year's project. If you have a few seconds and an idea, do write in.


What a wonderful idea, Rachel!
Now if only you included a list of 10 dishes that can be made halal i.e. not include pork, brandy, rum or cheap vodka.
My mission from now on, is to come up with that list after scanning the book.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


My poor little sick baby =(
Both she and I are under the weather this week. I had a brief bout of cold but she got down with flu. Fever and lethargy are daily routine now and the only time she doesn't whine and cry is when she's monkey-backing me. Thank God for babywearing!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Aaargh, somebody please take her away!
The annoying little "gift" from Little Miss's cousins. After a couple of nights of startled surprise at the loud songs, dancing Dora is growing on Little Miss and getting on my nerves simultanously.


I know, no matter what angle you look at it...
It's inappropriate. Yet, this is how I found the two raunchy stuffed animals set up among Little Miss's toys. Mr. Ozturk must have been having a fun time cleaning up last night!

Monday, November 30, 2009


A rendition of my daughter and a few thoughts
It's the last of November and with a total of 210 pictures, I'm way off my goal of 365. In terms of memories however, we've made uncountable ones and many that couldn't be caught on camera. Life sometimes is too fast to be caught on film; instances like her dancing on the Eid party, the time she slid down the foot rest under the desk so fast that it made even her laugh out loud, or the times when she ran smack into a door, or when she pulled out her jazz hands and went Taaaa!
May Allah keep our memories alive and let us look back on the wonderful days with love and forget about the bad days. Ameen.


From Wrap to Structured Carriers...gah!
I'll never understand why the Baby Hawk didn't work for us, yet Mr. Ozturk will refuse to carry Li'l Miss in anything other than his arms. Now, that she's getting heavier God bless her, arose the need for a more substantial carrier that will snap her in place before she even realizes that she's about to go up in a carrier! You can't escape the Bambaroo Full Buckle Delux SSC muahahaha!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Monster on Eid Day 2


On Eid day with my cousin, Aneesa

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Her new Favorite Uncle
Caner came to visit and Little Miss Ozturk was truly in love, as was Uncle Caner!
We also caught the tail end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and managed to take a few cell phone snapshots of Iza's surprised face. It's priceless, and currently being held hostage by the new phone. I'll have to install the Samsung drivers the first chance I get and then I want to update today's post to include pictures from the parade.
Now to sleep; have a big breakfast tomorrow followed by a possibly even bigger dinner party at my brother's place!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


My third phone in one year. I know, I'm a sad little careless mom. And my daughter is a phone-eating monster!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Randomness at its best
Top to bottome: The Business of being born, documentary of homebirths; Gran Torino; Hababam Sinifi Tatilde. Books: Iraqi Child; Confessions of a Video Vixen; Soul of a Butterfly, a biography of Muhammad Ali.
This is a prime example of how my mind works in a given situations; it's borderline ADD. Last night, I scoured the library to find something light to take my mind off the last book I read, The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffeneger. Even though the book was beautifully written and really is a new age classic, it really is hard to stop thinking about!
I needed to lighten my mood and hence was really on the lookout for something like The Nanny Diaries or Devil Wear Prada like material. Of course, my mind wandered far from the train of thought I went in with, and I came out with these.
I'm done with Video Vixen (I did say I needed to read something light), and don't want to start with Iraqi Child till later. For now, I'll probably start watching Being Born and enjoy the beauty of life today.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Bye Bye Diapers
Packed up the last cloth diapers. Ozturk Jr. is finally out of diapers for good. Yay!